Osinbajo to visit Niger Delta for peace talks

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Vice president Yemi Osinbajo will visit the oil-producing Niger Delta region on Friday, police said, as the government seeks to broker peace with militants whose attacks have hammered the country’s crude production.

Nigeria is heavily dependent on oil exports, which bring in as much as 70 percent of government revenues. Militant attacks on production facilities last year slashed output by as much as one-third.

A peace deal could help revive production, with the government this year aiming to produce an average of 2.2 million barrels per day. In January, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo said production was 1.7-1.8 million barrels per day.

Osinbajo, who is acting president while President Buhari takes medical leave in Britain, will on Friday visit the southeastern state of Bayelsa, state police said in a statement on Thursday.

“The acting president will lead a high-level delegation of the federal government and will interact with traditional rulers, eminent Bayelsans and members of conflict resolution committees,” it said.

A senior official said Friday’s visit would continue the vice president’s discussions in Delta state in January, and address Niger Delta stakeholders including the governor, traditional rulers, community leaders and representatives of disaffected youth groups. (REUTERS)

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